NaNoWrMo – National Novel Writing Month

Years ago, I watched this organization begin and grow, always thinking I should join but never did due to work commitments, then school commitments, and life in general.  At the time of its founding, I was starting a new life and a new job, and then a new career path where my writing was sidelined due to academic writing commitments as I pursued my degrees, which resulted in a a full-time job with more writing responsibilities.  The only real new creative writing I did from 1999 until now have been those assignments required for my creative writing classes.

Occasionally, I came up with some new ideas that I would jot down (hoping to pursue some day), and some I would start outlining, but nothing significant until 2006 when I began teaching a women’s study survey course and started paying real attention to feminism* and made a connection to all the female writers and characters from the various periods I had studied, from early medieval times to the Renaissance, Victorian times, through contemporary modern day.

One night, I had this brilliant idea, one that has yet to be written as I envisioned her, and I quickly found myself—in her voice—writing her story, from her point of view, a story that has yet to be told without making her an absurdity, voiceless, or a caricature as she’s been betrayed far too often.

In that one night, in a short four hours’ time, I quickly wrote 18 pages of what I imagine to be the beginning of her story.  A few years later, I returned to her story and imagining the story as a screenplay, wrote a detailed outlined that included characterization pages.  As I did so, I began hearing other voices, other characters from within the story.  Since then, for the past seven years, she has been clamoring, other times softly whispering and pleading with me to finish her story.  A few years ago, I found a work of ark that aptly displayed her in conversation with another main character; and then, I found a bronzed-like figurine that fit the story, as well.  I displayed the two objects where I saw them every night when retiring.  I thought about her story constantly.

Now that time has come.  I’ve decided through the wonderful, supportive vehicle of NaNoWrMo that occurs this month—most appropriately, as time will reveal—and the year that her story will come to fruition—from the imagined images of my thoughts, inspired by history and onto the page.

It’s a story unlike my other publications.  Over the years, and through my education, my writing has changed.  This story inspires me and has me aflame with a passion of can-do mentality.

For the now the title is only Medieval Novel.   I’ll be contacting a publisher  or two as I write this month, for I have no doubt that I’ll need a publisher soon enough.

Sadly, I’m starting late–one day late, as NaNoWrMo month began yesterday, but in no way am I behind.


* Until I began teaching this women’s studies class, I along with so many misguided individuals, thought that feminism was for radical bra-burning women who didn’t want marriage or babies.  I was so wrong (!!!) learning, instead, that feminism is nothing more than wanting equal rights for all people–equal pay, equal rights, equal freedoms, and so forth.  Since then, I’m proud to say that I am a feminist.

About Diana Stout

Screenwriter, author, former English professor
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